‘Last Tango in Paris’ Star Revealed She Attempted Suicide Over the X-Rated Film

“Go get the butter.” Muttered by Marlon Brando, that now-infamous phrase started a graphic assault scene in the X-rated 1972 film, Final Tango in Paris. Brando’s teenage co-star Maria Schneider later stated she felt “a little bit raped” by the 48-year-old actor and by the movie’s director, Bernardo Bertolucci. Just a few years earlier than her demise, the actor revealed that the scene traumatized her a lot that she tried suicide.

What ‘Last Tango in Paris’ was about

Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando in ‘Last Tango in Paris’ | Bettmann through Getty Photos

Written by Bernardo Bertolucci, the story begins when a newly-widowed American ex-pat encounters a younger Parisian lady whereas viewing the identical empty Left Financial institution rental condo.

After the briefest dialogue, Marlon Brando’s character Paul, and Jeanne, performed by 18-year-old Maria Schneider, have wordless albeit passionate intercourse in opposition to a wall. When Paul leaves the vacant condo to return to his seedy lodge and Jeanne makes her approach to the Metro to fulfill her fiance, they don’t even know one another’s names.

Again in his bleak lodge room, Paul speaks with a maid cleansing the bathtub the place his spouse, Rose, slashed her wrists two nights earlier than. Concurrently, Jeanne and her fiance, Tom, stroll to the condo the place she stays along with her mom. Right here we discover out that Tom is a cinéma vérité documentary filmmaker.

With out clarification, Paul and Jeanne meet once more at the vacant condo the subsequent day and have tough, nameless intercourse. As the story progresses, Paul leases the condo underneath an assumed identify, and the nameless sexual encounters proceed. It additionally turns into obvious that Jeanne is annoyed by Tom’s fixed filming.

After fleeing a marriage rehearsal, Jeanne exhibits up at Paul’s newly-leased abode in her marriage ceremony costume. As he bathes her, Paul tells Jeanne that real love doesn’t exist in the world of the residing and says she “must go up the a** of death” to seek out it. He instructs her to clip her fingernails and insert them into him.

One other scene that contributed to Final Tango in Paris’ X score concerned aggressive masculinity, violent, non-consensual intercourse, and a stick of butter. In line with subsequent interviews with Schneider, this was the one-take, unrehearsed scene that drove the younger actor to medicine and tried suicide.

A scandal unfolds regarding Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider

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Bernardo Bertolucci informed Variety that he and Marlon Brando got here up with the concept of the ad-lib lubricant whereas consuming breakfast of baguettes and butter. The pair tacitly conspired to not inform the teenage actor earlier than the scene as a result of they wished her response to be actual. Bertolucci stated:

“I didn’t want Maria to act her humiliation, her rage. I wanted Maria to feel, not to act, the rage and humiliation. Then she hated me for her whole life.”

When she was 55 years previous, Maria Schneider described her expertise in a 2007 interview with U.K. Daily Mail. Noting that she’d re-watched the movie after Brando’s demise three years prior, Schneider stated that Bertolucci was “fat, sweaty, manipulative, and overrated” and by no means once more made a film with the impression of Final Tango in Paris.

Of Brando, the actor stated she was “too young to know better” and that Brando additionally felt manipulated by the director. After Final Tango, Schneider remained on pleasant phrases with Brando till he died in 2004 however by no means spoke with Bertolucci once more. The French-born actor died of breast most cancers on February 2, 2011. She was 58 years previous.

Understanding the film score system

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In 1968, the Movement Image Affiliation of America introduced 4 rankings that might subsequently be utilized to commercially-released films. The one-letter rankings have been G, M, R, and X.

G indicated a film applicable for common audiences of any age. M meant “mature” and suggested parental discretion. R restricted films to viewers age 16 or older until accompanied by a mother or father or guardian. X, the score given to Final Tango in Paris, meant no one underneath age 16 could possibly be admitted, it doesn’t matter what.

Along with Final Tango, early mainstream films to obtain an X score embody Midnight Cowboy, Clockwork Orange, and I Am Curious (Yellow).

In 1970, the M score was renamed GP, and the age for seeing an R-rated movie was raised to 17. Two years later, the GP score was modified to PG. In 1984, the PG-13 score was inserted between PG and R, explains Vulture.

What Rotten Tomatoes says about ‘Last Tango in Paris’

Pegging the Tomatometer at 85%, Rotten Tomatoes describes Final Tango as a “vivid exploration of pain, love, and sex” in which Brando gives a “typically towering” efficiency.

Rotten Tomatoes moviegoers provide critiques that vary from “a powerful and affecting drama” to “the most bizarre Brando movie ever” to a “claustrophobic look at love that is grotesque and unrewarding.”

New Yorker film critic, Pauline Kael, stated that the mixture of Brando and Bertolucci achieved “realism with the terror of actual experience still alive on the screen.” In gentle of Schneider’s later revelations, it appears Ms. Kael’s estimation was spot-on.

How you can get assist: In the U.S., name the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or textual content HOME to 741-741 to talk with a educated disaster counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.

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